The 10 Most Useless Vegetables

When I was a kid I shared the same distrust of broccoli held by most children. Broccoli smelled a little like flatulence when you steamed it, was squishy and tasted slightly bitter. And while Velveeta did the vegetable a great service with its "melts better than cheddar" commercials, I couldn't get past its general grossness. I hated it.

And I was wrong. Little did I know those tiny green florets were able to absorb so much butter. Remember fractals in whatever that class was in high school? That's how broccoli became the greatest delivery-by-weight mechanism for delivering ranch dressing. I love broccoli now that I know how to use it. The rest of the vegetables on this list on the other hand — still totally useless.

Decorative Gourds (pictured above)
The single greatest gift to be distilled from these shellacked atrocities is the literary masterpiece It's Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers. I read it and tweet it every year, and then fantasize about going postal on gourds at the nursery around the corner from my apartment. They are inedible. They are predictable. They are pointless.

White Asparagus
To put it politely, white asparagus is just too phallic to put on my dinner table with a straight face. It also lacks the lush, green vibrancy that makes asparagus such a wonderful celebration of spring. The whole reason white asparagus is white is because farmers keep the shoots buried underground and they never see sunlight, making them the pasty troll of vegetables.

Out-of-season tomatoes
I know you've been fooled by these bastards. They promise so much with that glossy red skin and those bright green vines that seem to say "I was only picked yesterday." Out-of-season tomatoes are firm and flavorless fruits vegetables. They taste like cotton and your BLT sandwich is better without them.

Any vegetable that is consumed in greater quantities in canned over natural form is fatally flawed. Pumpkin-flavored everything (with or without real pumpkin) was the next nail in the coffin. I'm making my pies with some funky heirloom squash or even a sweet potato this fall. Pumpkins are spent. 

I'll give this root vegetable one thing: It's the most fun vegetable word to say out loud. I'd order rutabaga all the time just to hear myself say it, but nobody ever serves it. When was the last time you saw rutabaga on a menu? It's because they smell awful. They are officially the world's least sexy vegetable.

Yellow Squash
This summer staple is OK in a ratatouille but that's only because the bland vegetable has absorbed the flavors of the ingredients that surround it. Yellow squash is a free-loading useless heap of a vegetable.

Admit it Texans, the only reason we eat so much okra is because it's the only thing we can successfully garden that doesn't blister our fingers when we harvest it. Chilies are awesome; okra is slimy, weird and overdone.
Oh, vegetable that never was. You're a quitter.

Kohlrabi is basically a massive hunk of broccoli that's terrible for harvesting ranch dressing from a tub. It's all stalk and no florets.

  Green Bell Pepper
Fun fact: In Japanese screenings of the movie Inside Out, broccoli was replaced by green bell pepper as the evil vegetable hated by the emotion Disgust. Japanese children obviously understand fractals.